Peter Jackson (biography)Medium:
Gouache on BoardSize:
11" x 14" (270mm x 350mm)Date:
1965This is the original Gouache painting by Peter Jackson.
The Wonderful Story of Britain: King Charles is Defeated. The trial of King Charles the First in Westminster Hall. Charles I was the first of our monarchs to be put on trial for treason and it led to his execution.
This event is one of the most famous in Stuart England's history - and one of the most controversial. No law could be found in all England's history that dealt with the trial of a monarch so the order setting up the court that was to try Charles was written by a Dutch lawyer called Issac Dorislaus and he based his work on an ancient Roman law which stated that a military body (in this case the government) could legally overthrow a tyrant.
The execution of Charles, lead to an eleven year gap in the rule of the Stuarts (1649 to 1660) and it witnessed the rise to supreme power of Oliver Cromwell - whose signature can be clearly seen on the death warrant of Charles.
Charles was put on trial in London on January 1st 1649. He was accused of being a "tyrant, traitor and murderer; and a public and implacable enemy to the Commonwealth of England." He was to be tried by 135 judges who would decide if he was guilty or not. In fact only 68 turned up for the trial. Those that did not were less than happy about being associated with the trial of the king. In fact, there were plenty of MP's in Parliament who did not want to see the king put on trial but in December 1648, these MP's had been stopped from going into Parliament by a Colonel Pride who was helped by some soldiers.
The only people allowed into Parliament were those who Cromwell thought supported the trial of the king. This Parliament was known as the "Rump Parliament" and of the 46 men allowed in (who were considered to be supporters of Cromwell), only 26 voted to try the king. Therefore even among those MP's considered loyal to Cromwell, there was no clear support to try Charles.
This is the original artwork from Treasure no. 118 (17 April 1965).